WhatsApp won’t be ad-free forever

Chris Burns - Apr 24, 2020, 11:17 am CDT
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WhatsApp won’t be ad-free forever

A new report this week suggests that Facebook plans on utilizing WhatsApp to serve advertisements at some point in the future. That’s the plan, according to inside sources, but the timeline for this update isn’t entirely clear. The idea that Facebook would eventually integrate WhatsApp into their family of data-harvesting, ad-serving apps isn’t a brand new idea. It’s a good time to remind ourselves that, regardless of what’s happened over the past few months and years, Facebook remains dedicated to monetizing all of their properties with user data turned into targeted advertisements.

Information today comes from Engadget who relays a quote from a Facebook spokesperson. That spokesperson suggests that “ads in Status remains a long-term opportunity for WhatsApp.” This comes at the same time as The Information reports a slight retreat in public plans to plant advertisements on WhatsApp. Their report suggests that a “multiyear effort to link all its social platforms” comes first.

Part of the The Information report is that Facebook is “worried about angering regulators”, so they’ve pulled back a bit on releasing advertisements to WhatsApp in the near future. Instead, they’ll creep up, slowly, in a way that’ll make using WhatsApp as a part of Facebook seem completely natural. We did a bit of detail on this situation back in August of 2019 with You should stop using WhatsApp right now.

Facebook owns WhatsApp and Facebook owns Instagram. If you’re using either one of those platforms and find Facebook’s methods of harvesting and utilizing user data repulsive, you’re in for a rude awakening. You’ll want to take a peek at our feature How to delete Facebook (and why you maybe can’t.

In the month of March in the year 2019, we released an article called You can leave Facebook now, and you should. The reasons outlined in that article remain true today, and the basic tenants of Facebook’s intent and profit-finding operations remain in play.


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